WATERVILLE — The City Council on Tuesday is scheduled to take a second, final vote on selling the northeast part of The Concourse downtown to Colby College for $300,000 so Colby can build a $25 million, 100,000-square-foot student residential apartment complex there as part of downtown revitalization efforts.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. and will be preceded by a 6:45 p.m. public hearing on a proposal for a tax increment financing district and development program for the five-story complex.

Councilors also will consider taking a first of two needed votes to approve the TIF for the complex, which would house about 200 Colby students, as well as faculty members and resident assistants, who will be part of a special program related to civic engagement.

Councilors on Feb. 7 voted 4-1 to give initial approval to an agreement to sell The Concourse property to Colby and provide a tax break for the first-floor units of the apartment complex, which will be retail in nature. While the upper floors are residential and nontaxable because the college is a nonprofit institution, the retail part on the ground floor will be taxable.

The council voted last year to sell the 0.77-acre site on The Concourse for $300,000 on the condition that if the property becomes tax-exempt, the college would make payments in lieu of taxes. On Feb. 7, the council voted to amend that original agreement to delete the condition and allow collection of future property taxes through a TIF district.

The city’s method for assessing the tax value of the first-floor retail yields about $36,000 in taxes. As part of the TIF agreement, Colby has agreed to pay $65,000 a year.

City Manager Michael Roy said Saturday morning that the student residential complex is vital to the city and Colby’s efforts to help revitalize the downtown.

“We’ve said from the beginning that this particular building project was a key for the entire downtown revitalization because it would just bring that many more people living and eating and shopping in the downtown area, and this has a potential for being so transformational for the downtown,” Roy said.

Colby also plans to build a boutique hotel at 9 Main St. on the former Levine’s clothing store lot at the south end of Main Street and is renovating the former Hains building at 173 Main St., across the street from where the apartment complex would be built.

The three projects represent an investment of $40 million and $45 million, according to Brian Clark, Colby’s vice president of planning.

The Hains building, to house CGI Group employees on the upper floors, and the hotel project are expected to generate more than $125,000 in new taxes, in addition to the $65,000 Colby would pay on the student apartment complex as part of the TIF agreement.

In addition to voting to approve the sale of part of The Concourse and adopt a TIF for the new Colby apartment complex, councilors also must vote on whether to amend an existing downtown TIF that includes the area where the complex will be built.

Roy said Saturday that the council similarly had to amend the downtown TIF when the Hathaway Creative Center was developed.

In a related vote, the council Tuesday will consider appointing a committee that would review a traffic study that recently was completed and funded equally by the city, Colby and state Department of Transportation to look at traffic and parking in light of revitalization efforts and what effect more people living and working downtown will have on parking needs.

The 10-member committee would help develop a parking management strategy for downtown and investigate the need for hiring a parking consultant to help with the work, explore potential for creating new parking sites in and around downtown, and help define costs of proposed parking improvement options and develop recommendations for increased parking-related revenue.

The committee would include one or two city councilors, one or two Planning Board members, and representatives from Colby, Waterville Main Street, the downtown business community and Waterville Public Library. Some city staff members also would take part as nonvoting members.

“One of the important things for people to understand is that there are not going to be any quick, magic solutions,” Roy said Saturday. “I think the committee’s work is going to take place over a period of months and involve review of a lot of different options.”

In other matters Tuesday, the council will consider taking a first of two needed votes to contract with Mitchell & Associates for $55,000 to complete design work and preparation of construction specifications for a river walk at Head of Falls off Front Street. The company was chosen in early 2016 through a competitive bid process to prepare a first-phase concept design and estimated cost as part of the city’s application for Land & Water Conservation Funds for the project. Mitchell also submitted a proposal to complete phase II of the work, which involves completion of the final design and preparation of all construction specifications. Phase I cost $23,000 and phase II will cost $53,000 more, with an additional $2,000 expected to cover all costs related to state Department of Environmental Protection and brownfield site permitting.

City officials anticipate the land and water money will be received, at which time the $55,000 would be refunded and returned to the city’s general fund.

The council also plans to consider allowing the city to contract with Coldwell Banker Real Estate to market properties in the city’s Airport Business Park with the understanding that all proposed lot sales would require council approval before any sale is final.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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